My cat is sitting underneath the Christmas tree. I like to keep an eye on her when she does this, worried that she will, as she liked to do on occasion in her younger years, climb it, bringing it to the ground.
A huntress at heart, she likes to force what she can into submission. This includes the family Christmas tree. Although to thwart her possible efforts, we tie the tree to a ring in the ceiling ó a small reminder that stays there throughout the year; something to let us know that our cat, The Queen of Mean, rules the roost ó or at least, now that sheís old and likes to spend her days lying on the couch ó the living room.
Tying up the Christmas tree, along with the stories we recall each year of just which ornaments broke during her episodes of destruction, is part of the Christmas lore at our house. When I think about Christmas, I think about the small stories and traditions that are woven into the fabric of our holiday.
Itís about the Poinsettia we always get for the house; the dozens of cookies that come out of the oven in the weeks leading up to the main event; making mince tarts using Grandmaís ancient tart tin; the angel chimes; planning the food for the big day; being with loved ones; talking to far away family and friends.
Itís about preparing for visits and visitors; getting the decorations out of the attic and remembering each precious tree ornament and where it came from. Itís about going to the Pemberton craft fair; putting up the Christmas lights, including the huge, handmade, stylized star and the toddler-sized Frosty The Snowman; listening to Christmas music weíve had since the children were small; and yes, tying the tree to the ring in the ceiling.
So however your Christmas is ó whether you are revisiting your own traditions or creating some new ones ó I wish you and yours the best of the season.
All this month, you can set yourself free from any library fines you owe. The Pemberton Public Library is holding a book amnesty during December, meaning the library will be forgiving all fines on long-overdue, damaged and lost library materials. Itís simple: you can wipe the slate clean by swapping food for fines. Make a donation to the Pemberton Food Bank at the library and all fines will be waived.
Have a book thatís months, or maybe even years overdue? No worries. The patron who returns the longest overdue book will receive a prize.
Although the library doesnít charge overdue fines, when items are long overdue the item is considered lost and a replacement charge is placed against the patronís account. Three reminders are sent before an item is classified as lost.
The Pemberton Winter Recreation Guide for 2014 is out. To view and choose your programs, visit the Pemberton Community Centre or go to www.pemberton.ca.
The Pemberton Childrenís Centre is holding a bottle drive fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 4. Collection will take place throughout neighbourhoods in Pemberton from 9 to 11 a.m. Empties may be left on the doorstep. Otherwise, people may donate their empties any time to the centre at the Pemberton Bottle Depot. The depot has an account for the Pemberton Childrenís Centre.
Womenís indoor soccer is starting up in January. On Tuesday nights, from Jan.7 to April 15, women over 17 years old can join together for some scrimmaging and laughs. Bring your court shoes (non-marking soles) for the 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. sessions at Signal Hill Elementary School.
Send comments and event listing ideas to email@example.com. The next Pemberton column will appear January 7.